Kabir Bhatia

Kabir Bhatia joined WKSU as a Reporter/Producer and weekend host in 2010.  A graduate of Hudson High School, he received his Bachelor's from Kent State University.  While a Kent student, Bhatia served as a WKSU student assistant, working in the newsroom and for production.

Among his awards, he was named Best of Show – Best Reporter in Ohio for 2013 by the Ohio chapters of the Society of Professional Journalists.

The Summit County prosecutor’s office is launching a campaign to help immigrants and refugees who are victims of crime.

The new “We Can Help” campaign will feature brochures, signs and information in English, Spanish, Arabic and Nepali.

The languages were chosen with help from the International Institute of Akron. The city has seen rapid growth in the Nepali population and other refugees in North Hill.

The Cleveland Humanities Festival is underway at venues throughout Northeast Ohio. WKSU’s Kabir Bhatia reports on the series of lectures, recitals and readings that will examine the historical impact of immigration through the lens of the humanities.

The artistic and educational events include an opening keynote from Harvard history Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., as well as playwrights and authors discussing their work and their cultural heritage.

Ohio EPA

The Ohio EPA is expecting maps of the lead pipes in the state’s local water systems by Thursday as part of an overhaul of how Ohio deals with lead in drinking water.  But by Wednesday afternoon, only about half of the systems had complied.

The Ohio EPA is expecting maps of the lead pipes in the state’s water systems by tomorrow as part of an overhaul of how Ohio handles lead in drinking water, but only about half of the systems have complied so far.

Applications open today for a unique artists’ residency in Akron that takes place this summer.

The Countryside Conservancy has a new executive director. Tracy Emrick has been the acting director since last fall, when she took over from founder Darwin Kelsey. He passed away last December. WKSU’s Kabir Bhatia caught up with Emrick over coffee. He asked her about her friend and mentor and what challenges she sees for urban farming in Northeast Ohio.

About 200 people attended a rally in Cleveland on Saturday to support President Trump, one of dozens of similar events around the country.

The “March 4 Trump” took place in Voinovich Park. The keynote speaker was Cleveland Pastor Darrell Scott. He says that, as a black man, he’s taken heat for his support of the president. But he foresees more African-Americans supporting Trump in the next election.

The Cleveland International Film Festival has released this year’s list of films, which includes a number of movies about Northeast Ohio.

Construction is in full swing on the biggest piece of Akron’s $1.4 billion sewer project. A free tour allows people to see what’s happening beneath the city.

The City of Youngstown could soon add a business incubator on its south side, made up entirely of shipping containers.

The project would convert the containers into small store fronts for entrepreneurs who may not be able to get financing to start a business, or who don’t have enough start-up capital to invest in a traditional building.

The city is studying the cost of the project as well as how to connect the containers to utilities.

A generation ago, the battle to teach kids about drug abuse used scare tactics and the “Just Say No” campaign. In this installment of our series, Opioids: Turning the Tide in the Crisis, WKSU’s Kabir Bhatia reports that experts are now recommending a concentration on social and emotional learning, as well as peer-to-peer programs – some of which are already in-place in Northeast Ohio schools.

A new bill in the Ohio Senate would put limits on when motorists can run a red light -- meaning it would no longer apply to mosts motorists at all. 

H.B. 9 is a response to a law passed late last year, which would allow anyone to treat a red light like a stop sign if it appears to be malfunctioning, or doesn’t seem to be sensing the presence of a vehicle.

The past weekend saw several protests over the lack of town halls by Northeast Ohio Congressmen, including one in Canton at the office of Bob Gibbs.

About three-dozen people gathered Saturday in downtown Canton outside of Gibbs’ office, calling for him to meet with constituents in a public town hall. Karen Izzy Gallagher helped organize the rally, and says Gibbs’ request to meet with people in small groups in his office is not good enough.

The plan to renovate Akron's City Center Hotel could lead to greater development in an area that’s slowly seeing people move downtown.

Cuyahoga Falls-based Testa Companies plans to invest $25 million in the building. The hotel had struggled for the past decade before closing last year. The proposed redevelopment would set aside six floors for a new hotel, and the rest for apartments.

Akron City Planner Jason Segedy says it’s one of several much-needed projects downtown, along with the Landmark Building and the United Building.

Summit County says its new program to reach out to people within days of an overdose is getting increasing support from cities within the county.

Since December, the Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board has seen several cities create quick response teams consisting of a police officer, paramedic and counselor who will reach out to people within three to five days of an overdose.

A new report says parts of Akron are ripe for new housing, while other neighborhoods could be hot spots if they get some new investment.

The study from the Greater Ohio Policy Center is titled “Build In Akron,” and it looks at all 24 of the city’s neighborhoods with regard to boosting population and housing values.

A coalition of Cleveland faith groups is requesting a meeting with the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers about the proposed $140 million renovation of Quicken Loans Arena.

The Cavaliers are putting up half the money for renovations at The Q. Greater Cleveland Congregations has been vocal in its opposition to the plan to use public money for the other half. Now, they're requesting a meeting with Dan Gilbert to see if some funds can be sent back into Cleveland's neighborhoods.

Northeast Ohio beer connoisseurs can now follow a brew path to more than a dozen breweries in and around Summit County.

The Summit Brew Path officially opened over the weekend. Participants get a small passport with information on 14 participating breweries. Anyone sampling all of them by year’s end gets a T-shirt and is entered into a drawing for a vacation getaway in Akron.

Akron Children’s Hospital is making a major investment in North High School to turn it into a health and human services career academy.

In his annual “State of the Schools” address, Akron Superintendent David James said the hospital is pledging $250,000 – with another $150,000 from in-kind donations – toward the project.

Akron City Council will be looking at its capital budget tonight, which includes one measure that would set aside $20,000 for a study of a possible bike-and-hike trail through what was once a maze of rubber companies.

The study would consider whether to build what’s being called the Rubber City Heritage Trail. The plan is in the early stages, but it would be a route of about 7 miles running along a rail line that once served the Goodyear, Bridgestone and Firestone campuses.

Tamela Lee, the first African-American woman elected to Summit County Council and the one-time second-ranking Democrat in the county -- has been found guilty of six counts in her federal bribery case.

Lee was accused of accepting cash, campaign contributions and things like free home repairs in return for helping some area convenience store operators with liquor license and court-related issues. She served on council from 2011 until losing her seat last year.

Starting today, the Ohio Department of Transportation will take the first steps toward closing Akron’s Innerbelt, a years-long project that supporters say will reunite the city.

The intersection of Main, Howard and Perkins Streets and Martin Luther King Boulevard downtown – the mouth of the Innerbelt -- will be closed until this summer for the project. Traffic will be re-routed along roads parallel to the expressway.

An interfaith rally in Canton today brought out hundreds of people protesting President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigrants and refugees.

Organizers expected about 50 people at the protest next to the Stark County Courthouse in downtown Canton. Instead, more than 400 showed up for “We the People Welcome All” to hear speakers like Imam Malik Abdul Zahir from the Canton mosque.

A new Akron-based theater festival is accepting submissions for this summer, and organizers are looking for different types of performances.

The first Summit StageFest will take place June 3 on stages setup around Highland Square. The organizers have been involved with the Akron Art Festival and the PorchRokr Music Festival in the past, and they say StageFest will be another way to showcase Northeast Ohio’s rich arts community.

A long-running legal fight between Summa Health and Wadsworth-Rittman Hospital has been resolved.

Wadsworth-Rittman was operated by a community hospital district until Summa bought the property in 2008. The health system closed the inpatient care facility six years later, and that's when the lawsuit began.

A Geauga County activist group says the county’s public lands need to be better-managed.

Protect Geauga Parks was formed three years ago as a response to what members viewed as a park board that is not fulfilling its mission. Now, they say Probate Court Judge Timothy Grendell – and the three park commissioners he appoints – won’t allow public comment at meetings.

About 1,000 protestors converged on Cleveland Hopkins Airport yesterday to demonstrate against President Donald Trump's executive order banning citizens of some Muslim countries from entering the U.S.

The protesters marched peacefully for about two hours, starting in the ticketing area, going to departures outside, then down to baggage claim and even out toward the street entrance near I-480. They were  chanting phrases such as, “Here in CLE we welcome all: no ban, no wall!”

Summa Health CEO Thomas Malone resigned today after a turbulent two years leading Summit County's largest employer.

Tonight, Ohio cities will be conducting their annual count to determine how many homeless people are out there. It’s the first count since Akron and Youngstown each considered legislation aimed at reducing panhandling. Opponents said they were actually thinly veiled attempts at criminalizing homelessness. WKSU’s Kabir Bhatia reports on where each city is at today in helping its homeless population.

The Kent Interfaith Alliance held a post-inaugural rally on Saturday, one of hundreds of similar events taking place throughout the country and around the world.

About 100 people were at the Portage County courthouse in Kent for the rally, which organizers said was a call to work with -- and pray for -- elected officials. Krishna Fitch from Cuyahoga Falls was there encouraging people to listen to the content of what elected officials say.

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